Emergency Preparedness for Pet Owners

American Veterinary Medical Association says including pets in disaster plans is critical.

Two mixed-breed dogsAre you ready for an emergency? If not, the American Veterinary Medical Association wants to change that.

“It is often too late to react properly to an emergency or disaster – either natural or manmade – after the fact, and things become even more hectic when pets or other animals are involved,” says AVMA president Larry Kornegay, D.V.M. “That’s why the AVMA believes it is critically important for everyone to have an emergency plan in place – and to practice that plan.”

Kornegay says dog owners should also put together an emergency supply kit that includes provisions for pets. Watch a video on what to include >>

“When thinking about what to pack in an emergency kit for your dog, it’s important to base your decisions on what the dog needs in its daily life,” Kornegay says. “And you have to remember that you may be away from home for a while, so packing things like a two-week supply of the dog’s food and a similar quantity of water is highly recommended. You’ll also need a crate or carrier; copies of veterinary records and proof of ownership; any medications the dog is taking; a collar; a leash or harness; and even some toys, treats or blankets with which the dog is familiar.”

Kornegay also emphasizes the importance of microchipping and tagging your dog. “Being prepared is some of the best insurance you can have when it comes to dealing with an emergency situation and minimizing the trauma,” he says.

For more information, check out the AVMA website, which has a wide variety of disaster preparedness resources at www.avma.org/disaster

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